I'm afraid I'm even more dismayed this year.
I honestly think this prestigious competition has completely lost its way now.
As last year, I'll quickly talk about this year's Grand winner, then give one word critiques of a few shots I think shouldn't have been included as finalists, let alone been commended or win categories - then I'll give you a link to my favourite image of the finalists.
Please note, as always... these are just my personal opinions. You're more than entitled to disagree of course.
Firstly the Grand Winner.
I find the image uninteresting, uninspiring, dull and messy. I think the fact that two of the subjects are half-in and half-out of shot to be accidental and not deliberate. I find the composition (or lack of thought behind the composition) unnerving - again... I would strongly suggest that is accidental too...
I assume that is moonlight filtering down from above... but now I think of it... it can't be can it? It's just another lamp or flash held above the water by the photographer's "team".
Even the subject itself, the (French Polynesian) Camouflage Groupers are far from being interesting or exciting or spectacular fish. I'm not told anything new by this photo. I'm not interested in it. In short I honestly think this is a bad photo. A bad image.
Finally I think the title of the image itself is contrived. Treacly. Why not just call it "MILT". Or "All at sea". As that is what I think of the image.
A few one word critiques:
Finally then... a couple (not just one) of links to my favourite two images.